Vessey, Judith A. Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California School of Nursing, San Francisco, California.
Last reviewed:June 2019
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The application of principles from the basic sciences, social sciences, and humanities for the physical and mental care of people. Nursing is concerned with the provision of care for sick and infirm individuals (see illustration). In the practice of nursing, principles from physical, biological, and social sciences are applied to unwell individuals to assist them in performing those activities that contribute to their physical and mental well-being and that they would perform unaided if able to do so. Nursing also assists family members or other caring persons who are taking care of ailing individuals. Nursing includes providing physical and emotional care, promoting comfort, serving as patient advocates, assisting in rehabilitative efforts, teaching self-care and health promotion activities, and administering treatments prescribed by a licensed physician or dentist. Patient-care activities are conceived and coordinated so as to help individuals gain independence as rapidly as possible or maintain an optimal level of function. When multiple health-care providers are involved, nursing coordinates patient-care efforts to improve the quality of care. See also: Aging; Critical care medicine; Medicine; Public health
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